When I was in the fourth grade, I had a hot teacher, Mrs. Nelson. She was under thirty, attractive, and very nice and warm. So was so nice and pretty that she had relatively few disciplinary problems with the boys because none of us wanted to make her upset with us.

On the first day of class she gave a speech that it was in the fourth grade that she started needing glasses and that she would be on the lookout for kids in her class that might need glasses.

I’m not sure there was any clearer way that she might have said “If you have bad eye sight, or at least behave as though you do, you will get extra attention from a very attractive school teacher.”

Suddenly I couldn’t read the chalkboard so easily. I had to squint. I had to raise my hand and ask about any writing that might have been the slightest bit smaller or less legible than other writing. In no other class would having been moved to the front a reward rather than a punishment. When Mrs. Nelson told my parents that I needed to get my eyes checked, I was in too deep to do anything but intentionally fail my eye exam.

My first pair of eyeglasses had big, giant, purple frames. I was not particularly averse to wearing glasses in the abstract (I knew my genes and knew I’d get them eventually), but the combination of the girliness of the glasses and the fact that it made my perfect vision blurry, I wore them next to never.

A couple years later I was stuck in the back of my Spanish class, where the ability to read a chalkboard was more crucial in others. I could not for the life of me read what was going on. I don’t know if it was the first time I’d been sat in the back of a class in a year or two* or if my eyesight had just suddenly deteriorated between the fifth and sixth grades, but it was harsh. Out of pure desperation I put on the Ole Purples. They actually helped!

Unfortunately, I had enough popularity problems without those things saddling my already unimpressive personal appearance. So once again I was pretending that I couldn’t read what was reasonably clear so that I could get another visit to the eye doctor and another pair of (preferably black or silver or brown or gold or anything but purple) glasses. When it was all said and done my prescription was… almost identical to the bad prescription I had faked two years before. “This is great!” Dad said, “no need for new glasses!”

Ole Purples met with their untimely demise a week later when Dad sat in them in his chair. “So strange,” he said, “you’d think I would have seen them there.” Somehow they’d ended up below the armchair cover, which had itself been placed on the seat of the chair, making it pretty difficult to see. I managed to convince Dad that my glasses must have been on the armrest and that they must have fallen onto the seat of the chair where he sat on them. The elaborateness of my explanation was probably the most suspicious thing about the whole affair.

* – I don’t believe this to be the case. My last name for whatever reason would usually stick me near the back of the classroom in any alphabetically-assigned seating chart and any time we were given a choice I’d sit as far back as I could.

Category: Ghostland, School

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2 Responses to Spectacles

  1. Barry says:

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive”…

  2. Hit Coffee » The Mega-Binder says:

    […] In the fourth grade, I had a teacher named Mrs. Nelson that I had such a crush on that I faked bad vision in order to get attention from her. Just about all the boys had crushes on her. Best. Be […]

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